To a generation, Pierce Brosnan is as much Bond as Sean Connery or Roger Moore were. Regardless of how revolutionary Timothy Dalton’s era was, many credit Brosnan for getting the franchise out of a slump it was experiencing since the last third of Moore’s reign.
Brosnan famously was due to take over as Bond from Moore in the early Eighties. He was in fact between projects – his show Remington Steele had just been cancelled. There are two stories around this particular moment. One has it that Brosnan screen-tested along with Sam Neill for the job. Another holds that producer Albert Broccoli met Brosnan on the set of For Your Eyes Only, where his wife was playing a role. Broccoli loved Brosnan and wanted him to be Bond. But both tales end with the revival of Remington Steele, so the actor had to decline.
Fast forward to 1995, six years after the last Dalton 007 film. Brosnan was finally in the lead and made his explosive debut with Goldeneye – one of the best films in the franchise, not to mention one of its biggest earners. His era as Bond would become controversial, but mainly for the films.
Brosnan’s Bond was a solid combination of the classic era characters. He was equal parts charming, dangerous, slick and soft. Brosnan’s reign also reinforced in the strong women characters Dalton wanted: to this day Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies stands as Bond’s equal.
He wanted to equal Moore’s record of six movies, but after four Brosnan retired his license to kill. Another version has it that he was pushed out in favour of a younger actor. Maybe he just wanted too much for the role. Brosnan has spoken out a bit in recent years about the experience, alluding to the producers being overly controlling. But as far as the fans are concerned, he’s right up there with the greats.
Last Updated: November 26, 2015